Ever heard of being 'skinny fat' or an 'active couch potato'? If not, welcome to a whole new way of looking at exercise.
These are some of the more colourful terms recently coined to highlight two realities of healthy living; (1) eating well is only half the picture, and (2) emerging research suggests sitting all day is just as bad as a poor diet, and unfortunately that weekly run may not be enough.
Don't be too alarmed, any small change is a positive step towards good health, and it's never too late to start. We've also got some great tips and guidelines to get you moving every day. The bonus is the benefits of exercise go way beyond how you look. It can improve your emotional well-being and cut your risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Plus, involving your friends and family can open a whole new world of fun experiences.
So how much activity is enough?
According to official guidelines, active living is a two pronged approach; increasing physical activity and reducing 'sedentary' behaviour'.
For adults that means minimising lengthy sitting by breaking it up as much as possible and trying to be active on most, but preferably every day of the week. Plus they recommend strength training twice a week and accumulating 2 ½ - 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity or around 1 ¼ - 2 ½ hours of vigorous activity each week. Taking a mix and match approach of moderate and vigorous activity also works.
What count's as physical activity?
It's great to know how much activity we need to do – but what exactly does this mean? How do you know what activity is right - do you need to reactivate that expired gym membership or sign up for the next half marathon?
The good news is that it's really quite simple – any activity that gets your body moving, makes you breathe a little faster and makes your heart beat a little quicker is the right kind.